Rain, Rain Everywhere!

For the first time in a while, not a single county in Texas is in Extreme or Exceptional Drought conditions (according to the latest US Drought Monitor). All of this extra rainfall has been appreciated but has also been cursed by many crop and hay producers. So what does all this rainfall mean for our forages? Weeds have matured and multiplied due to inability to spray at appropriate times. Once fields are accessible and there is a window of opportunity be prepared to control weeds whether mechanically or… Read More →

The Sugarcane Aphid: A New Pest of Grain and Forage Sorghum (New Publication)

Entomologist from Texas A&M AgriLife Extension have just released a publication on the Sugarcane Aphid (SCA). This publication summarizes the latest information on biology, scouting, economic thresholds and insecticides for SCA control in grain and forage sorghum. We are still learning more about this new pest and this publication will be updated as new research becomes available. Website: Texas Sugarcane Aphid News Publication: SCA Management Guide        

Weed of the Week: Johnsongrass

Weed of the Week: Johnsongrass (Sorghum halepense): Johnsongrass is a warm season perennial grass that is one of the most common and troublesome weeds in agriculture. It is commonly found on roadsides, pastures and hay fields. It grows erect from 3 to 6 feet. Johnsongrass spreads by seeds and rhizomes (underground stems). The seedhead is a large, open panicle often with a purplish tint. Johnsongrass leaves have a large white midrib and a smooth, glossy appearance. Stems are smooth with no hairs.   Select Herbicide Options: Outrider (for… Read More →

Weed Control For Newly Sprigged Bermudagrass

Weed Control for Newly Sprigged Bermudagrass… WEED CONTROL FOR NEWLY SPRIGGED BERMUDAGRASS. “One of the many challenges producers face when establishing a new stand of bermudagrass is initial weed pressure. Prior to land preparation for establishment of sprigs, it is important to eradicate any unwanted vegetation.”        

Weed of the Week: Spiny Sow Thistle (Annual)

Many growers make no distinction at all between perennial and annual sow thistles. That’s because all three versions are tall weeds with yellow, dandelion-like flowers and stems that produce a milky sap. Seedlings of the two species(Sonchus asper & Sonchus oleraceus) are practically indistinguishable, and may be difficult to tell apart even at spray stage without examining the root system. Annual and perennial sow thistle will be covered in an upcoming post. Spiny Sow Thistle (Sonchus asper): An annual that has bluish-green leaves and stems that emit a… Read More →

Does a New Year Mean a New Pasture/Hay Meadow?

It’s always best to initiate the planning process the year prior to actual planting. So start planning in 2015 to plant in 2016. Instead of planning in 2015 to plant in 2015. Evaluate the farm’s forage needs. Consider how the forage will be used (grazing vs. hay), what species are better adapted to your area (season, soil type, rainfall) and what resources (equipment, money, and time) are available. Reestablishment should be considered when less than 40% of the desirable species exist. For exclusive hay production: Take visual appraisal… Read More →

Planting Winter Forages

Late September-early October is the ideal time for planting cool season annual forages such as annual ryegrass, small grains (rye, wheat or oats) and/or cool season annual legumes. Anytime we are incorporating new forages into our production systems it is important to make sure to match the forage species to your location (soil type, average annual rainfall, intended use, etc). If you have questions about forages appropriate for your area contact your local county extension agent. Three methods for establishing cool-season annual grasses include planting into a prepared… Read More →

Pasture Management – Just the Facts

Photosynthesis is the process by which plants combine solar energy, atmospheric CO2, and water, within green leaf tissue (chlorophyll) to produce carbohydrates. Plants use these carbohydrates as a source of energy to carry on basic metabolic processes. In short, while overly simplistic, plants can create their own food using the simple ingredients of sunlight, water, and CO2. Plants do require, however, adequate green leaf (photosynthetic tissue) in order to carry out photosynthesis. Without these four main ingredients plants cannot survive.  As managers there is not a lot we… Read More →

Weed of the Week: Broadleaf Marshelder

Broadleaf Marshedler (Iva annua L.) is a warm season annual in the Sunflower family. Also called broadleaf sump weed. The leaves are situated in pairs across from each other on the stem. Marshelder grows in wet, moist areas, disturbed areas, and roadsides. This plant germinates in the early spring in February or March. The flowers, which resemble those of the ragweed group, are inconspicuous. It flowers in later summer and fall. Select Herbicide Options: Weedmaster 2, 4-D GrazonNext HL Grazon P+D Milestone PastureGard Chaparral (for bermudagrass pastures, will… Read More →

Weed of the Week: Mayweed chamomile

Mayweed chamomile, often called dog fennel, stinking chamomile, or stinking mayweed is an annual bushy broadleaf plant that germinates in early spring. Mayweed chamomile inhabits crop fields, roadsides, pastures, hay meadows and other disturbed, unmanaged sites. Leaves are alternate to one another along the stem, are lobed to deeply divided, and nearly hairless to hairy. Mayweed chamomile can have a spreading form or be an erect plant, reaching 6 inches to 3 feet long. A distinguishing characteristic of mayweed is it’s unpleasant odor. Flowering takes place from spring… Read More →